Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The California Primary With One Weak to Go

The Beatles Didn’t Care Too Much for Money

Politicians Believe It Can Buy More Than Love

In 1964, the Beatles released a successful single that included the words, “I don‘t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.” The two leading Republican candidates for California governor in the June 8th primary might not care too much for money but are hoping that it can buy them enough votes to become their party’s nominee in the November.

In 1973, It Was Deep Throat

In 2010, It Is Deep Pockets

By of the end of May, Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay had raised $83.4 million, including $68 million of her own money, but had only $3.8 million left in cash on hand. Her chief GOP opponent, entrepreneur Steve Poizner had raised $26.3 million including $24.2 million of his own money, leaving him with $3 million on hand. Their combined spending in the GOP primary race alone comes to about $103 million.

Fatherly Advice

To put this in some perspective, in the 1984 presidential election, the total spending by all candidates came to $103.6 million, and fifty years ago in 1960 when Kennedy ran against Nixon, it became the first $20 million presidential campaign. There’s the story that JFK received a telegram from his occasionally anti-Semitic father Joseph which read, “"Dear Jack: Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide."

Brother Can You Spare $51.50

If Meg and Steve are trying to buy votes, they should recall that in the 2006 gubernatorial primary, Arnold Schwarzenegger received 1,724,288 votes — or 89.99% of the total of 1,916,080 cast by Republicans. Should the total GOP primary votes in 2010 rise to two million and the $103+ million is spent, that comes to about $51.50 per vote. It might have been more cost effective for each candidate to place one of their workers stand outside every voting place in the state, pass out a Ulysses Simpson Grant $50 Federal Reserve Note, and buy their votes directly.

I’ll Raise You $50 Million

The primary is just the warm-up for the general election that takes place on November 9th and the leading (and only real) Democratic candidate for governor is California’s Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. He’s better known as Jerry and has raised $21 million, spent only $400,000, and has not put a dime of his own money into the campaign. Yet.

No Republicans Running for Congress

Suits These Two Candidates to a Tea

The 19th U.S. Congressional District in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley has long been an almost guaranteed Republican seat, but not this year. Two of the three leading candidates seeking to replace the retiring Republican congressman are still out to win the GOP primary nomination and have their slogans pasted on billboards and on signs stuck in the ground throughout the rural areas. Their political leanings are quite similar and so are those slogans, yet neither candidate will admit to being a member of the Republican Party. “Pombo — Conservative for Congress,” reads Richard Pombo’s, and his opponent’s reads, “Jeff Denham — Conservative for Congress.” Looks like some advertising geniuses for both camps worked hard to create such powerful campaigns. When this bitter, heated contest is over, the two candidates should sit down, work together and plan how to beat any Democrat opponent who is foolish enough to run. They could probably best do so in a genteel manner with a tea party.

See http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_15200771?nclick_check=1 for more on an environmental villain running in this campaign.




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